[x] should be treated as a [long-term / short-term] product.
 If more than one, indicate for each long or short-term.
 Important! How long before product pays for itself?
As such, the target market segments to focus on are [specific customers]. Because of
[product]'s special market characteristics, [seasonal / geographic / etc., as mentioned in
your Market Analysis] our sales strategy [includes / incorporates]:
 Briefly discuss how your sales strategy will address specific market / environmental
 How customers perceive your company and product, relative to competition.
 Product / Business / Industry leadership.
 Recommended reading: Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
 A User Focus Group may provide product information needed to position your product.
Our [product, or similar / competition's product] is seen by the consumer as [customer's
perception of your product].
Its unique advantages [technical, quality, performance] can be exploited to arrive at a
winning position in the consumer's mind.
In terms of market segmentation advantages, we can use [upscale consumers, ethnic
appeal, etc.] to arrive at a winning position here.
Repositioning our [product] as [example: from a cost to an investment, vacation becomes
an "escape from civilization," etc.].
To be effective, [other products, services, people] depend on the presence of our
We can reposition our competitors by [x].
 What can be said / shown about a competitor's product that will change your customers'
minds (about the competitor's product -- not yours)?
The resulting Selling Basis for our product, then, is [x].
 This is your fundamental strategy for all of the advertising you do.
 Test the Unique Selling Basis to make sure that it is:
 How do we set prices? Is there a policy?
 Is our pricing competitive?
 Is there perceived value (it costs more therefore it must be better) inherent in higher prices?
 Are prices based on costs -- standard markup?
 Why are they higher or lower than competing prices?
 How elastic (the effect of pricing on demand for product) is the market for these products?
How does consumer preferences affect elasticity?
The prices for our products are determined first and foremost by [competition, costs,
suppliers, manufacturers, package deals].
It is important to know that [sliding scales, volume, regulated, competitive, perceived
value], pricing is essential to our market profile.
Compared to the competition, our prices are [x].
 List examples of competitive pricing.
 Put copies of price comparisons and reports in the Supporting Documents.
Different seasonal aspects of our market affect our pricing because [example: selling
We feel that our customers will pay $[x] because [purchasing rationale].
 Ask friends / customers in retail management about quantities they are likely to buy. What
discounts would entice them to order more?
 Ask regarding quantities their customers are likely to order and their Gross Profit Margins /
 What percentage commissions do they make? Usually between 5 and 20%.
 Determine cost of each sale -- time and expense involved, package deals.
We can take advantage of volume purchases by [x].
 Volume discount is applicable if scheduled order is placed (For example; 1,200 units
ordered for a year=100 units per month.)
 Are there discounts for paying cash or within [x] days?
Cooperative advertising -- manufacturer pays 2-10% of purchases toward your
advertising of their product.
We plan to review our pricing and product / service margin every [x] [months].
 Should a new pricing policy be investigated? Are potential profits being lost?
Current Selling Methods
 Activities used in selling your product or service.
 Methods to promote product or service: direct calling, telephone, advertising, mail, radio,
television, or other.
 Sample brochure or dummy, advertisements, announcements, or other promotional
literature should be placed in the Supporting Documents.
 Margins of safety allowed in sales forecasts.
 Recommended Reading: How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins, International
 Define who will be make these decisions:
New business development
Dealer support and OEM support
Corporate graphics standard
Direct response promotion
Telemarketing -- scripts / training
Product position and identification
Based on the strategic plan, decisions that must be made now include [x].
The information needed to make those decisions is [x].
 Data, research results, etc.
Key decisions to be made in the near term [next six months] are [x].
 Include decisions to be made after six months, but before the next fiscal budgeting process.
The information needed to make both of these decisions with confidence includes [x].
 Primary research projects (topic, time frame, budget).
 Secondary research studies (topic, vendor, time frame, cost).
The most sensible research recommendations are to [x].
 List questions you need immediate answers to.
 Use data collected from a focus group.
 Before proceeding further, review the marketing strategy statements you have made so far
against the following tests:
 Are the strategies consistent with your evaluation of the marketplace and your capabilities?
 Is the return on marketing investment sufficient to justify the risks? What are the chances of
a competitor executing a similar strategy? In that case, what would happen?
 Are the strategies consistent with the political environment within the company?
 Have you made sure your strategies are based on facts, and not assumptions?
 Does the overall strategy leave you critically vulnerable to a shift in market behavior? Are all
your eggs in one basket?
 Is your appraisal of the competition open-minded and honest?
 Is your strategy legal?
 Is the success of your strategy based on your ability? What are the chances of failure?
 Have you thoroughly examined alternative strategies? Do you have a sound, logical
rationale for your recommendations?
[Company]'s marketing department plans to sell our [product] through several channels.
The determining factors in choosing these channels are [x].
 Customer profile
 Seasonal variations
 Efficient use of funds
 Feasibility of using channels of similar products already on the market
Key competition uses the same [x] distribution channels. Our mix of distribution
channels will give us the advantages of [list advantages] over our competition.
A partial list of [Company]'s major current customer include:
 List the top 5 to 10 customers.
Our distribution channels include:
 This type of selling is usually most appropriate for very expensive products or services
[executive jets, yachts and large estates come to mind] where it is important to deal
principal to principal when negotiating the sale.
Because our customers tend to be top corporate managers, it is important that our
company president and senior managers present our product to our customers.
The majority of [Company] sales will be handled internally through direct sales by our
[Company] anticipates hiring [x] additional sales representatives to [cover additional
territories, retailers, distributors, markets, sell specific products].
 Include Organizational chart in Supporting Documents.
We have chosen to use a direct sales force because our products require considerable
customer education and post-sales support -- directly from the company.
Our price point, pricing structure and profits are such that our costs of sales warrants
"person-to-person" selling strategy.
Because manufacturers' representatives carry several product lines that are compatible
with ours, we feel that it would be appropriate to select manufacturers representatives
carrying [x], and ...[complementary and compatible products -- automotive products to
parts stores, marine supplies to boat dealerships, etc.].
Also, manufacturers selling [dissimilar products yet appropriate to their customers',
customer -- publishers selling computer software to bookstores...]
 Contact customers and retailers and ask them whom they would recommend to represent
your product. (Firms and people they respect and use.)
 See also Advertising and Promotion, Direct Mail to locate appropriate reps for your firm.
One of the key elements designed into the [Company] marketing plan is the targeting of
our distributors. We will select distribution channels already in existence and staffed with
professionals possessing appropriate backgrounds and clientele.
[Company] products are very pertinent to the nature of distributor's business and to the
well-being of their customer base. Also, it is significantly less difficult for us to reach
these people and educate about the benefits available in using [product].
This strategic marketing approach takes full advantage of the fact that these professionals
are already involved with parallel products and services. They already have a track
record of experience.
By operating within these distribution channels in this manner, we can maintain control
of our market. In addition, we can generate growth at a reasonable pace and obtain
excellent sales results.
 Distributors must mark up your prices 15-30% to their retailers. Your sales revenue will
have to be reduced in order to allow distributors their profit margin.
 Consider using advertising and direct mail to locate appropriate distributors.
 What Dealers Want From Manufacturers:
Price Point -- attractive and reasonable
Profit Margin -- worthy of sales emphasis
Technical Support -- accurate and immediate response
Quality -- design, construction and packaging
Advertising and Public Relations -- customer awareness and demand
Effective Sales Materials -- ease and expedite sales process
Competitive Advantages -- features and benefits
Stocking and Delivery -- available when needed
Market Stability -- maintain profit margins and market position
Possible Retail and Wholesale Outlets include:
 The SIC Code (Standard Industrial Code) referenced in the table below is available at your
Store type Total SIC Code
Department Stores 23,275 5311
Garden Supply Stores 16,496 5261B
Hardware Stores 40,140 4251
Giftware Wholesalers 3,524 5199G
Electrical Equipment Wholesaler 41,313 5063
 Collect mailing list catalogs -- look at all the possible outlets for your product or service.
 Look in your Telephone Directory's Classified Advertising under Mailing Lists.
 Complete the chart above -- the list may prove to be a valuable resource for resellers.
 List any national or regional chains or independent stores that currently carry could carry
With Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) we can incorporate our [product] into
their product line by [explain how your product can be included within theirs -- they sell
your outboards with their boats, your windshield wipers with their cars].
For manufacturers of [their biggest system / product] we can sell [product] as part of
We can also provide a private-label line as an additional product for [x] distributors.
 See Joint Marketing Agreements in the Company Overview section, to include in your
Direct Response Mail
We will be exploring the benefits of incremental, coordinated direct mail programs in the
[example: last two quarters of 19[xx]. We anticipate a strong profit potential as we
strengthen our direct response capabilities. We will be approaching this scientifically, as
we improve our customer targeting ability. We propose [example: two 50,000 piece
campaigns, each preceded by a 5,000 piece test].
All direct mail activities this year will be directed to our existing customer base. In
addition, we will [example: test external lists].
 Look in your telephone directory under Direct Mail for mailing houses. Some also handle
inquiries, and others provide an 800 number.
We will use an [in-house / contract] telemarketing service to perform the following
Provide outside sales support
 Literature mailing
 Follow-up calls
 Order entry
Respond to inquiries
 Order entry
 Literature mailing
 800# Order / Support Hotline
 Marketing research
Generate New Business
 Contact distributors, retailers, customers.
 Schedule appointments.
 Write a comprehensive telephone script that everyone can use when responding to
 Carefully address each issue [questions, objections, etc.]
 Write out your responses as you would say to them.
 Practice with a tape recorder, or call your own answering machine -- keep adjusting it until
 Distribution opportunities.
 If available, include a chart of CDI / BDI (Category Development Indices / Brand
Development Index) performance.
 What is our ACV (All Commodity Volume) distribution? The competition's?
 It is important to consider your worldwide opportunities from the start.
 List target countries in order of priority
Usage of product
 See Advertising and Promotion, Selling Tactics, and Distribution sections for detailed plans
The primary means of distribution will be [x].
 How your products are (can be) distributed.
 Make a chart to show how they get to the end-user consumer.
Additional channels planned are [x]. An important advantage to these alternate channels
By using more than one method, [Company] will have more control and also more to
respond to special needs and circumstances.
Other features of our secondary channels are low cost, quick start-up, increased capacity.
Regional target areas are [where you will begin sales].
Reports indicate that these areas generate the highest level of consumer interest.
Because our distribution network is [already set up or in use, easy to implement, cost-
efficient, etc.] we can enjoy [national / international] delivery immediately.
This, in turn, will reduce shipping time and increase customer satisfaction.
To date, [many of, [x] of, none of] our competitors are able to achieve this.
Product Roll-out Program
We have selected from [x] key market areas.
 Areas based on proximity -- easy to sell into, contact, deliver to, have customers come to.
Manufacturers' Representatives we have chosen are:
Name Territory Type
[ABC Sales] [Western U.S.A.] [Marine Supplies]
Distributors we have chosen are:
Name Customer Type
[DEF Distribution] [4,500] [Sailboat Dealers]
Retailers we have chosen are:
Name Number of Outlets Type
[GHI Stores] [31 in So. California] [Sailboat Dealer]
There are [x] number of dealers in each region.
 List regions in order of roll-out sequence.
 List key distributors, retailers, etc. in each as top priority.
 Allowances, Co-op Accruals, Warehouse Flushing Promotions, etc.
Our customers emphasize that service and support is one of their major concerns. They
are constantly impressed with the support we provide. Hot-line service is currently
available to all customers enrolled in a maintenance / support program.
We intend to provide free pickup and delivery for customers in the [x] areas by using
[our own trucks / couriers]. The purpose for this service is to assure customer satisfaction
and loyalty allowing us to increase sales as well as maintaining a high profile within our
Another service to add value is to provide warehousing of customer inventory. This
allows us to book larger orders and provide faster order response.
Support to manufacturers' representatives will allow them to perform efficiently as a
sales force. We intend to treat the manufacturers' representatives as an extension of the
[Company] direct sales force, and they will be given the same support as the [Company]
internal sales staff.
Technical backup to OEM support groups is currently supplemented by [Company]. The
OEM staffs respond to the needs of their customers, and when they encounter a support
issue that requires more information, they may direct their customer to [Company] or
they may contact [Company] to obtain the necessary information.
Technical support to marketing and sales functions will be strengthened. Pre- and post-
sales situations involving the application, presentation, and demonstration of [products]
will be supported by [staff].
Returns and Adjustments Policy
At this time, general trade customs for handling returns are [describe how returns are
generally handled]. We will use the following policies:
"If for some reason [x] is not right for your business you may return it for a full refund
within 30 days of receipt of product. You must call [enter phone number] for a Return
Authorization number [RA#]. Refunds are made only on the price of the package plus
applicable taxes and do NOT include shipping costs."
"Credit card refunds are credited to your account and cash / check payments are refunded
within 30 days of receipt of returned merchandise in good condition with RA#."
We intend to [follow / depart from] industry custom by implementing a returns and
adjustments policy whereby [explain your plan and how it will work]. Our reasons for
[following / departing from] customary procedures are [give reasons -- advantages,
benefits for you and your customers].